Saturday, April 23, 2005

Epidurals and Epiphanies

Spent the day in childbirth preparation classes; Audra compared it to doing a "trial run" on a course you know you'll have to run a marathon on soon. The process was outlined well with videos (which took us every--and I mean every, with actual, volunteer examples--step of the way), and breathing and relaxation techniques, along with clues for the "coaches" (read: scared $#!+less husbands) concerning what NOT to do or say when the Blessed Event comes around (as in, "Do not say, 'Relax!' or 'Breathe!' if you value any of your vital organs."). Finished with a tour of the hospital's labor/delivery and post-partum rooms, so we'll know when to expect the onslaught of family members afterwards. I fully expect, once my family is done with Hope E., to see my daughter sometime around her high school graduation.

Left that and went to choir practice at church for...Pascha music practice! Is it really that time already?! I mean my goodness! This Lent has flown! It seems like forever ago that I was as Holy Archangels (though that, no doubt, is partially due to the otherworldliness that such a place exudes), yet it does NOT seem like tomorrow is really going to be "Palm Sunday," or, as we like to call it, "The Triumphal Entry of Our Lord Into Jerusalem." More of a mouthful, yeah, but a much better description.

Vespers tonight with hymns from Lazarus Sat. and the final proclamation of our common destiny, one final cry that death truly shall have NO ultimate dominion, and our Lord then turns to go to His Cross and Tomb and Glorious Rising. Was talking tonight with a fellow parishoner outside church about how, in my life as an Evangelical, we certainly celebrated the fact that Christ is risen, we certainly appreciated the glorious victory over the Devil that it stood for, but in all honesty, we really didn't know what to do with it. We knew about the Cross, though! We sure could tell you about the payment the Son made to the Father in His own Blood and how that Sacrifice covered all our sins, but as for the was all more of an inevitable, natural consequence of the Cross, rather than the point that all things, even the Cross, was leading up was more like, "Well it just wouldn't do for God to stay dead; of course He had to rise!" We never really heard about death being an actual, personified enemy, much less the "final" or "ultimate" one (1 Cor. 15:26). Christ, in our minds, was more concerned with the remission of sins committed against the Father's honor; the trampling down of death by death and bestowing life on those in the tombs was always more of an afterthought (I should point out that never did I actually hear anyone badmouthing or discounting the Resurrection; it was just something that, though obviously significant in Scripture, didn't seem to play a very prominent role in our overall view of what Christ came down here to do). So we never really heard many sermons (if any at all) about the Final Resurrection of the Dead; in our minds, we would have been happy enough to just be "absent from the body but present with the Lord," never to see or know our bodies again.

So--all that having been said--this first day of Holy Week has me already thinking of the Resurrection of our Lord, our Pascha, our Deliverance from the Ultimate Forgetting, from all things--Lazarus' prefiguring of the common destiny of all men, the Servant King's Entry in all its humble glory, the Bridegroom's being crowned with thorns, the High Priest's offering of Himself as Lamb, the Harrowing of Hell, the Annihilating of our Annihilation--all things point to the great revelation of His three-day Passion and glorious--glorious!--Resurrection.
We worship Thy Passion, O Christ.
We worship Thy Passion, O Christ.
We worship Thy Passion, O Christ.
Show us also Thy Resurrection!

No comments: